Oficial Concerts In collaboration with Villanos del Jazz
With the exception of Diana Krall and Madeleine Peyroux, it’s been years since the jazz world has seen a singer as innovative as Stacey Kent. Although she hails from New York, she made her professional debut in the early 1990s when she began singing regularly at the Café Boheme in London’s Soho. Stacey was actually studying Comparative Literature at Oxford, but became involved with jazz during her time there and ended up not only settling in London, but devoting herself entirely to music.
The song-based jazz for which she has become so well known was evident on her first albums in the 90s, Tender Trap and Close Your Eyes, but it was her 2003 album, The Boy Next Door that really made her name. With more than twenty albums to her name, the artist has said on more than one occasion that “the challenge of jazz is to transcend borders, to outpace other styles and to seek a greater degree of freedom in its arrangements”.
She was once asked what her own challenges were and she replied that they were, without a doubt, having a good understanding with her band, “interacting with each of the musicians and making sure that each and every song reaches the public, regardless of the language in which it’s performed”.
On this last point, it’s good to know that, thanks to a chance meeting with singer-songwriter Henri Salvador, Stacey has often chosen to perform songs from his repertoire in French. A decision based on artistic rather than commercial reasons, according to the singer. “The whole world loves French music”, she says. “In all sorts of countries in Asia and continental Europe, in the United States and England, every time we have performed, audiences have demanded that I sing these songs in French. It’s made my musical life so much richer”.
Now, having proved her worth at previous editions of JAZZMADRID, she intends to repeat the same feat: having the ‘sold out days ago’ sign displayed at the box office. Audiences love her, they know that her style has the richness of good taste and the rigour of knowledge. A cheerful and modest woman who explains a lot about herself in her live performances, in search of understanding, a sense of complicity. The best thing about her is the clean and heartfelt way in which she always sings. I dare say we will see her again in the future.